2000 BES Abstracts

The BES Reference Meteorological Station at McDonogh School

Gordon Heisler, Peter M. Groffman, Larry Band, Vicki Fabiyi,Gary T. Fisher, Nathan Forand, Richard H. Grant, Sue Grimmond, Martin Schmidt, Lynn Washlaski

Various BES studies measure variables such as precipitation, soil and air temperatures, and soil moisture. The reference meteorological station at McDonogh School provides a basis for comparison of these variables at a location not too dissimilar from the generally open sites of first-order weather stations, such as those at airports, which are the source of most archived weather data. The reference station is in a pasture field centrally located in the Gwynns Falls Watershed. The site is on a gentle ridge with higher elevations to the east and west, but sky view is unobstructed to within 9 or less of the horizon in all directions. The variables measured at the reference station include all those in the LTER Climate Committee Standards in addition to other variables that are pertinent to BES research. Variables for the Standards are air temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, total solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and absorbed PAR, atmospheric pressure, soil temperature at two depths, and soil moisture. The additional variables are net all-wave radiation, soil heat flux, and leaf wetness. Atmospheric sensors at the reference station are mounted between 1.5 and 2 m above ground. The data have applications for studies that model evapotranspiration and urban influences on meteorology, studies of soil processes, and for education. Data are currently obtained by site visits for downloading to a laptop computer. Our goal is to eventually obtain remote access and post common weather variables on the BES web site in nearly real time.